Wednesday, October 31, 7:00 PM at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
Andy Jasner, for NBA.com
Posted Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:34 PM - Updated Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:34 PM
THE FACTS: Spencer Hawes led five players in double figures, and the Philadelphia 76ers were able to pull away late for an 84-75 victory over the Denver Nuggets in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds while Dorell Wright and Jrue Holidayscored 14 points each for the Sixers. Thaddeus Young contributed 13 points and Jason Richardson added 10.
Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 16 points while Andre Iguodala scored 11 points in his debut against his former team. Andre Miller had 10 points.
QUOTABLE: "We have big expectations, and to be able to contribute in any way asked is what we're going to do." -- 76ers' Spencer Hawes
THE STAT: The Sixers shot just 35 percent (30-for-85) and were outrebounded 54-47 but managed to come away with a victory.
TURNING POINT: The Sixers held a slim 71-70 advantage with 4:20 remaining before ripping off a 9-1 run to take an 80-71 lead. Hawes hit a jumper and two crucial free throws during the spurt.
HOT: Hawes was 6-for-11 from the field and knocked down two of his three shots from beyond the arc.
NOT: Miller missed 10 of his 15 shots, which was a rare display in Philadelphia. Miller has played very well against the Sixers through the years.
QUOTABLE II: "It was kind of emotional. It was taxing a little during the game." -- Nuggets' Andre Iguodala, on playing against the Sixers for the first time in Philadelphia.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: In addition to his double-double, Hawes also added five blocked shots, two assists and two steals. Meanwhile, Holiday had 14 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and two steals.
INSIDE THE ARENA: There was a noticeable buzz inside the Wells Fargo Center. The fans had been anxiously anticipating this season, especially with last season's playoff run and the bevy of offseason moves by the Sixers. Before the game, Moses Malone and Dikembe Mutombo were honored and both were given standing ovations from the crowd. Iguodala started for the Nuggets and was booed throughout much of the game in his debut against the Sixers. Iguodala played the last eight seasons in Philadelphia. Conversely,Andrew Bynum received the loudest ovation during the pregame lineup announcements despite being injured.
QUOTABLE III: "That was a grind-it-out win to say the least." -- Sixers coach Doug Collins
GOOD MOVE: The combination of Holiday and Hawes worked very well in the second half and Collins kept running plays through them. This duo keyed the run down the stretch which sent the Sixers to a season-opening victory.
BAD MOVE: The Nuggets didn't penetrate enough into the lane. They took just 11 free throws -- not enough to win on the road.
ROOKIE WATCH: Nuggets guard Evan Fournier scored five points in 10 minutes while forward Quincy Miller didn't play. For the Sixers, guard Maalik Wayns was scoreless in a brief 2:31 stint in the first half while forward Arnett Moultrie didn't see any action.
NOTABLE: The Nuggets were shorthanded without forward Danilo Gallinari (left ankle sprain) and centerTimofey Mozgov (left knee strain). Gallinari participated in the shootaround but couldn't cut comfortably. Mozgov suffered his injury in practice Tuesday when another player fell into his knee. ... Bynum (bone bruise, right knee) was out for the Sixers. There is no immediate timetable for his return. ... The Sixers thanked Iguodala for his eight seasons in Philadelphia on the video board with 5:40 left in the first quarter. ... With the win, the Sixers snapped a five-game losing streak in season openers dating to 2007-08. ... Holiday's double-double matched his regular season total from all of last season. ... The Nuggets had 19 assists and 22 turnovers. ... The Sixers had 13 steals and 11 blocked shots. The last time the Sixers recorded double figures in steals and blocks in the same game was Jan. 15, 2010 against the Sacramento Kings. ... The last time the Nuggets scored less than 80 points was April 15, 2009 when they had just 76 at Portland.
NEXT: For the Nuggets, Friday @ Orlando, Saturday @ Miami, Tuesday vs. Detroit. For the Sixers, Sunday @ New York, Monday vs. New York, Wednesday @ New Orleans.